Monday, May 14, 2018

moving toward crunch time.

This week I have the White St. Art Walk at which I'll sell work and next week is the end of the school year with high school graduation and our annual program, the celebration of the child. This Sunday, the literary festival my wife created and co-directs is happening, also. This is a busy time.

I spent the weekend reviewing photos, taking a few new ones and writing portions of chapters of a Wisdom of the Hands guide for teachers, parents and friends wanting to help children learn woodworking. It is all a lot to get my head around.

I have been reading Pestalozzi's book, How Gertrude Teaches Her Children which is basically an account of how Pestalozzi developed his teaching methods. It provides insight into his character and his goals which was in large part to make education accessible to all and to do so through the senses.
"You are as a physical living being nothing but your five senses; consequently the clearness or mistiness of your ideas must absolutely and essentially rest. upon the nearness or distance with which all external objects touch these five senses,—that is, yourself, the centre, because your ideas converge in you.

"You, yourself, are the centre of all your sense-impressions; you are also yourself an object for your sense-impressions. It is easier to make all that is within you clear and plain than all that is without you. All that you feel of yourself is in itself a definite sense impression; only that which is without can be a con fused sense-impression for you.

"It follows that the course of your knowledge, in so far as it touches your self, is a step shorter than when it comes from some thing outside yourself. All that you know of yourself, you know clearly; all that you yourself know is in you, and in itself clear through you.

"It follows that this road to clear ideas is easier and safer in this direction than in any other; and among all that is clear nothing can be clearer than this principle: man’s knowledge of truth comes from his knowledge of himself." –Pestalozzi
Pestalozzi was one of the building blocks of progressive education. Building things and making things is one of the ways we use the formation of sense impressions in schooling. Squirming in your seat is not but may be what you remember most.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise.

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